Cylinder group deal with US Air Force

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THE most advanced stealth fighter in history is being fitted with high-pressure cylinders made in Sheffield.

The US Air Force is retrofitting its fleet of F-22 Raptors with new oxygen back-up systems and is using equipment manufactured by Chesterfield Special Cylinders.

Mick Pinder, managing director, told the Yorkshire Post: “It’s not a huge order; it’s less than £200,000. The significance is the American platform.

“It gives us exposure in that market, which is one we are trying to penetrate.

“Getting the US Air Force on your resume is not a bad way of doing that.

“That’s the prize for us. That’s the marketing leverage that will hopefully lead to more orders, not just in aerospace but from America in general.”

The company has a long-standing relationship with Honeywell Aerospace, a supplier to the US Air Force.

Its first delivery of cylinders was delivered in record time after receiving the order on a Monday and delivering the batch to Seattle, Washington, for the following Friday.

Mr Pinder said: “They were pushing for a significant test flight and needed hardware turning around in a very expedient manner. Which we did. From that, it gave them the confidence to award the bigger number with us.”

Representatives from the US Air Force visited the company’s headquarters near Meadowhall to inspect the manufacturing processes, material sources, traceability and reporting systems.

The £17m-turnover business has a long history of providing pilot oxygen systems to military aircraft including Spitfires, Lancasters, Vulcans, Hawks and more recently the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.